When a short folk tale is told in the sacred space of therapy, the story hero can become a blueprint for identity insight and development. Clients are often confronting serious, and what feels like insurmountable problems. Like the central character of many stories, our clients can experience strong feelings of fear, anger, loss and despair. The survival, success and resolution for the hero keeps alive the client’s hopes and revitalizes their own quest.
Story listening provides a safe emotional work-out: focus and imagination are activated, breathing slows down, and the nervous system is calmed as the story concludes. Story metaphors enable ideas to bypass the ‘logical watchdog’ of the conscious brain. Although a story enters the mind like the Trojan Horse, the listener’s imagination is far from passive.
Some examples of research and therapeutic change from this method will also be presented. These include the benefits of story therapy to manage pain and distress, instill a calm response and foster inspiration.
Story Medicine has many distinct aspects that will be covered in this interactive presentation: the art of selecting and telling the story, the open-ended implicit messages woven into the story, the listener’s emotional connections to the characters, the ‘turning over’ of the story in their mind, and sometimes the magical ‘ah-ha’ of a new understanding of how to address a problem.
The last stage of the method includes the use of questions shaped by Narrative Therapy and the Hero Journey map initially created by Joseph Campbell to make sense of the archetypal journey from problem to resolution, and renewed identity through suffering and being supported by helpers along the way.
There will be an opportunity to practice telling a very short story with a small group in breakout rooms, and then use the provided questions to unpack the therapeutic changes from the listener’s point of view. A discussion about this practical experience and how client changes might be explored will conclude the presentation.
A selection of three stories will be provided and a link to the Hero Journey Map.
Experiential learning activities include:
Kim Billington is the author of: ‘A Counsellor’s Companion: creative adventures for child counsellors, parents and teachers,’ (published 2021) as well as a writer of several published articles in the Counselling Australia Journal.
Kim’s passion is sharing creative therapeutic interventions that can bring people renewed hope and understandings about themselves, and fresh ideas about how they want to live in the world.
A mother of three adult children, she is at her happiest in her roles as counsellor, clinical supervisor, workshop facilitator and playful grandma. Kim loves swimming in the bay near her home in Sandringham, Melbourne.
Currently, Kim's work includes counsellor training, child and family counselling, parent consultations, EAP work, clinical supervision, supervising Monash University’s Masters’ of Counselling students, and Carer’s counselling. She has been a regular counsellor training presenter with the Sydney Centre for Creative Change since 2013.
Methods and tools in Kim’s therapeutic toolbox include: Mindfulness, Narrative Therapy, ACT, CFT, Creative Expressive Arts, Existential Therapy, befriending emotions using metaphors and storytelling, Tree of Life work and creative timelines to understand the life-long emergence of identity.
Kim has previously worked with clients whose adversities include surviving: refugee trauma, family violence, divorce, out-of-home-care, bereavement, and carers of family members with mental health troubles. With three years spent responding to callers at Crisis Support Services such as 24/7 MensLine, Kim has also co-facilitated Men’s Behaviour Change Groups
$27 to include lunch at the venue
$59 to purchase and keep the recording of this event.
Reminders for all events are sent two weeks, one week, one day and one hour prior.
This seminar has been designed to extend the clinical knowledge and applied skill of Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Coaches, Psychologists, Hypnotherapists, Social Workers, Community Workers, Mental Health Nurses and Psychiatrists, teachers all working with adults and children.
9:00am - 12:45pm
Includes a short break at 10:45pm
12:45pm - 1:45pm
1:45pm - 5:00pm
Includes a short break at 3:15pm
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